Airbnb on Wednesday announced new ways to find and book homes on the platform in response to rising distance work and the number of customers opting for longer stays.
New features include the ability to more easily split trips between two homes when options for longer stays are limited and a search tool that displays properties by specific categories, such as whether the home offers “creative spaces,” chef’s kitchen or pool. The features were revealed at a company keynote event ahead of the most important summer travel season.
“The way people travel has changed forever,” Brian Chesky, co -founder and CEO of Airbnb, said in a statement before the event. Chesky described the new features as “the biggest change in Airbnb in a decade.”
The updates come as Airbnb recently reported that the business is thriving again after being clobbered by the pandemic that hit the travel industry. In its most recent earnings report, Airbnb posts quarterly revenue of $ 1.5 billion, up 70% from the same period last year.
The company says nearly half of the nights booked on Airbnb in the past three months are for trips a week or longer. Chesky proposed the new Split Stays feature, which allows customers to book back-to-back stays at multiple homes in the same area, intended to meet this shifting demand.
With this option, which is automatically visible in search results, Airbnb users typically see about 40% more listings when hunting for longer stays, the company says.
Airbnb’s new way of searching, called Airbnb Categories, allows users to search for places to stay using 56 categories based on a home’s style-including options for small houses and yurts – as well as the location and proximity of a travel activity. Chesky said this new way of finding comes after people become “more flexible about where they live and work,” a trend Airbnb has also embraced by allowing its employees to “live and work. anywhere. ”
The company has also announced strengthened travel protections for guests, which will be included free of charge with every booking. Called AirCover, the protections offer users similar accommodations or refunds if their booking is canceled, if they can’t check in at a home, or if the listing isn’t as advertised. In addition, the company says customers can gain access to a 24-hour safety line if they feel unsafe during their stay.
Wednesday’s updates come after the company previously announced “strict anti-party measures” ahead of the summer holidays, marking the latest attempt to crack down on people who intends to use its platform to host unauthorized ragers. Chesky first announced the company’s ban on “party houses” in 2019, after shooting and killing five people at a Halloween party at an Airbnb -rented house in Orinda, California.